Dirty Little Hands

This Christmas was spent at my parent’s place. We had a nice lunch and spent the afternoon working on making soaps and decorating gingerbreads. After that, my son can’t stay inside so we ventured outside to the farm.

His favorite activity is playing with his tractors and digging dirt. He will spend hours tinkering around the farm. He also wanted to take his new John Deere tractor scooter to get it dirty. Test driving that scooter on the field was a must-do today.

Connor is not afraid to get dirty and he thinks it’s work. Dirt and rocks fly all over outside and brand new boots get dusty and filthy. He doesn’t care because he says he is farming. Not many kids are getting dirty on the farm because there are less farms every year as people give up or retire. I bet my dad was very much like my son— playing outside and getting dirty. He grew up loving that kind of life.

As I watched him play, it hit me that the best bet of growing more farmers starts with the family farms. These kids learn what it is like to work and and get dirty. Their successes are because they have their hands in the dirt and outside seeing what’s happening. If these family farms fail, the community loses out.

It is trendy right now to be telling tales about farmers. It is fun to feel like you’re saving the earth but ask yourself if you truly know what you’re talking about. If you are part of the non-farmers sharing links about the virtues of only one kind of farm, it means you’re likely harming the livelihoods of a farmer.

When you spread disinformation , your hurt many small farming families here. Your food hobby hurts real people. Do you take responsibility for the consequences of hobby activism? A community’s success is dependent upon farmers of every type. Being discriminatory and exclusionary of people’s livelihoods is harmful. Using the law to tear down farmers without evidence is all political with no realization of the unintended consequences. That become a bigger problem than what the actual intent was.

Everyone is dependent upon the work of all types of farmers. If they fail, we all suffer the results. Our best hope for future farmers lay in the hands who are working the lands now. They grow up on the land and tend it to earn their keep while providing for others.

Sore and tired bodies can wear on one’s endurance to continue but their faith to go on is renewed in seeing and hearing from appreciative customers. Knowing that people are grateful for our work is helpful to our sustainability. Farmers are doing good when the community is well fed and able to do many things other than farming.

The future of farms lie in the hands and hearts of those who are in the dirt now. They know the story of perseverance and true sustainability. The families who farm deserve our gratitude and support.

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